Marist Regional College

Marist Regional College was founded in Burnie in 1972 and grew from the amalgamation of Stella Maris Regional Girls' College and Marist College. This was established by the Marist Fathers on the present site in 1958. With a student population of 90, the College opened in 1959 as a boarding school for boys, serving the needs of the north-west, west coast and King Island. Father HF Davis was the first Rector.

In 1966 the Mercy Sisters established Stella Maris Regional Girls' College on an adjoining property, and some co-educational classes began. Sister Florence was the first Principal. In 1972 the Marist Fathers and the Sisters of Mercy combined their work in Catholic education with a co-educational College named Marist Regional College which opened with 555 students: 405 boys and 150 girls. There were 130 boarders but at the end of 1975 the boarding house was closed. Father Bernard Hosie was the Principal and Sister M Lucilla the Vice-Principal. In 2000, primary responsibility for the College was handed over to a Governing Council, and in 2003 a lay principal, Mrs Susan Chen, was appointed for the first time.

Sport and cultural activities play an important part in the life of the College. Many students participate in local and statewide competitions, and in a range of cultural activities, with the Musical or Arts Festival a highlight of the year. Students can play in bands, sing in vocal ensembles and develop their artistic flair through ceramics and photography clubs.

In 2005 the College catered for over 700 students from year 7 to year 12 on a seventeen-and-a-half hectare property with magnificent views overlooking Bass Strait and within walking distance of central Burnie.

Further reading: www.mrc.tas.edu.au/; H Catchpole, The Mercy Ministry in Burnie, Burnie, 2000; Marist Regional College yearbooks, The Sword (19591971) & The Kalori (1972).

Susan Chen